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Alternatives to L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon

My very high-end clients are spending three nights in Paris. I wish to provide a varied dining program, so have booked Le Cinq for an unforgettable classic Parisian dining experience and also Josephine Chez Dumonet for a classic Bistro experience. The obvious third choice in my mind is something more on the contemporary side. The obvious choice for me was L'Atelier de JR, but these clients don't want to dine at 6:30 or wait for a table otherwise, so I'm searching for alternatives, but I don't want anything too trendy or too inventive. While I value concierge input, I realize the bias. Moreover, I know many French (particular in the hospitality industry) simply REFUSE to provide real opinions (they'll just say, "Well, these two restaurants are very different."). Here's what the concierge of their five-star hotel gave me for alternatives to L'Atelier de JR. COMMENTS? Of course, I'm open to other suggestions. THANKS HOUNDS!

Spoon Food & Wine: Not wild about a Ducasse concept restaurant.

Market: probably too trendy

Dominique Bouchet*: I'm quite interested in this one based on the chef's pedigree.

39 V:

L’ Arôme*

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  1. Passage 53.

    Btw, how have the past recommendations on this board worked out or not worked out for you? Could you give us some feedback? Thank you so much.

    1. For elite dining I prefer Le Voltaire. Classic, soigne.

      2 Replies
      1. re: amrx

        Voltaire is totally geared for high-end business clientele; Josephine is not, service can be questionable. Much depends on where you are staying, if it is on the business side of the 1st you have lots of options.

        1. re: Oakglen

          High end clientele yes but definitely not necessarily business. Certainly not for the grubby.. I assumed that turtendu was looking for something special. His favorable mention pf Dominique Bouchet led me astray. Your post, however, made me realize that Le Voltaire is not for his group. I regret posting my message.

      2. You could try to get a table at Jean-Francois Piege... the upstairs restaurant, not the downstairs brasserie Thoumieux.

        1. L'Arome may well fit your client's need. In our experience, reservations are precisely honored, no waiting or bad tables offered. The food could be lots worse, wine service is professional, and Martin certainly knows how so schmooze a diner. It sounds as if your clients know how to command attention, and they will certainly get it here.

          1. Le Petrelle may do the job, large comfortable tables seating, small place with excellent if expensive food and great novel wine list, near Gare de Nord. Takes reservations. Also doesn't the new Table Robuchon near the Eiffel Tower take reservations ?

            1. Something more "on the contemporary side" could be Saturne.

              10 Replies
              1. re: Laidback

                Thanks folks! This is the poster. Sorry - this is NOT a business dinner. I operate a culinary and wine travel company (CORK & FORK Epicurean Travel). Thus, this is a handcrafted travel program for independent travelers...NOT a business meeting. I wouldn't do Josephine for a business meeting either. It has absolutely delighted every client I've sent there.

                1. re: turlendu

                  So you charge people money to post on Chowhound and get them recommendations? Sounds like a hell of a business. Where do I sign up?

                  1. re: AK21

                    l view it as he is using the best resources for his clients, kudos for him/her.

                      1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                        "Ask the French what is the best wine region in the country and they will just shrug and say, “they all are different.” That’s true, but we are here to give you our opinions! "

                        So with slight modification (and seemingly their "go to" line), "Ask the French what is the best [restaurant for "X" occasion] and they will just shrug and say, “they all are different.” That’s true, but we are here to give you [Chowhound's] opinions! "

                        1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                          "l view it as he is using the best resources for his clients, kudos for him/her."

                          As opposed to, I don't know, first-hand experience?

                        2. re: AK21

                          I am slightly reticent to post this since I do not intend to attack the OP in any way or be overly judgmental, but I must agree with AK21. Marketing yourself as a culinary expert and having people pay you for your expertise, and then sending your clients to eat at various establishments recommended and described by Chowhound participants, which presumably you have no first-hand experience with, seems wrong. On multiple levels.

                          It appears that a majority of your posts are those asking for specific recommendations in different destinations; presumably you then take this information and essentially sell it to others who pay you for your service. Until this post, there was no disclosure that this was the case; I applaud the OP for specifying this. I presume if some had known the reason why you were seeking information, they might have been hesitant to do your work for you for free.

                          1. re: fishskis

                            While l generally look for angles in things, l have no worries with this, glad to help.
                            Granted if l find l am doing it twice a day, l might skip, but on an occasional basis, it is ok

                            1. re: fishskis

                              After initiating 12 threads asking for recommendations in various countries, the OP never once came back once to share his (or his clients') feedback. Even those who do not sell our information show much more generosity toward the board and share their experience.

                              Or , I get it. Do we have to pay for the OP's feedback?

                              1. re: fishskis

                                Fishskis has hit it on the head. Doing the OPs work for free and without return feedback is at best off-putting.

                        3. Kei in the First. Very elegant,lovely food,not too outré ,and a very swank crowd.

                          1. Well...I certainly have generated responses. Perhaps a bit more background is helpful to help convince the cynics that I'm not a vampire looking to suck dry the collective wisdom of this esteemed community of experts and semi-experts. Our handcrafted programs include a whole lot more than dining and given our volume, we''ve posted here very few times. We do private culinary lessons with Michelin star chefs, customized epicurean walking tours, wine estate visits hosted by owners and head winemakers, and more. It's quite impossible to know every restaurant in our portfolio of destinations that includes the U.S. West Coast, numerous countries in Europe and Argentina/Chile. If we ever did receive what we thought was valuable input on one particular spot, we'd gladly post it. When you create a 20-day program for very busy, very high-end clients, the feedback that you might get on one particular restaurant typically is not worthy of posting on here. "Amazing," "fantastic," are great bits of feedback, but I think people are looking to Chowhound for more than 1 word responses. Chowhound is a resource we use to fill in gaps, but certainly is not the primary resource we use in developing customized dining programs for our clients. Our clients expect us to consult multiple sources and we don't think any other boutique company like ours invests as much time in this endeavor. We certainly value the input and will continue to consult the experts here (and we will continue to be HONEST about why we seek the information). Obviously it is your choice whether you wish to provide a response. I appreciate those who have provided guidance. You will help a charming couple have that much more of a memorable experience during their first visit to Paris. At the end of the day, I think that is what this board is all about. Cheers.

                            7 Replies
                            1. re: turlendu

                              "we''ve posted here very few times."

                              You have initiated 13 threads.
                              You have received 61 replies.
                              You have given zero feedback.
                              Luckily, posters like you are a very small minority.

                              1. re: Parigi

                                Chow is a public forum and its content can be extracted by anyone willing to run searches, a perfectly appropriate avenue for commercial agencies to use when they wish to augment or update their files.

                                1. re: mangeur

                                  Mangeur, the OP is doing much more than "extracting" content for commercial purposes. Rather, he is initiating threads to generate content for his commercial advantage. Different, I think.

                                  My emotions mirror Parigi on this.

                                  1. re: cortez

                                    I understand and agree. My comment suggested an appropriate way for professional trip planners to use Chow. It did not describe the OP's method.

                                    1. re: mangeur

                                      Is it possible to agree with every post above, including the OP's response? Because I kind of do. If the OP occasionally came to Chowhound for advice and ideas, and contributed to the board as well, then no big deal really. But the picture here is rather one-sided. As for "Honesty"; in this case I would define it as disclosing the purpose of the post; in most cases, contributing Chowhounders would gladly assist.

                                      1. re: fishskis

                                        Can we return to your original question? It's probably naive and unsophisticated of me, but have you thought of the Chiberta? I know it's the Guy Savoy minor leagues, but it's so modern, lively, and wonderful, and the Traquandi's on the wall (France's greatest living painter, excusez de peu) are also wonderful.

                                    2. re: cortez

                                      My emotions mirror Parigi's as well. I also set up food and wine itineraries for clients, and I wouldn't think of coming here to milk the posters for info I would sell. I do ask for info for myself, when I am traveling, but that is a horse of a different color altogether.

                                      The poster really didn't need to ask that question if he/she had bothered to search the forum, the info is right here. but to formalize that request I think is inappropriate, in the light of what it's being used for.

                                      I'll just bet they don't tell their clients: "We've never been to this place but we hear it's wonderful."